Movie Review: Kurangu Bommai (Tamil)

Kurangu Bommai, like the Maanagaram that came before it, is what you would call hyperlink cinema. A story so meticulously plotted, buying into the coincidences that help drive the story forward isn't so much a logical misstep as it is a carefully laid out pathway to a climax that's so shocking, it leaves you utterly gobsmacked. First-time director Nithilan Swaminathan plays with an assured hand, using a black duffel bag emblazoned with a monkey on it (hence the title) as the focal point of the narrative, all the while jumping back and forth in time and weaving in multiple storylines seamlessly, so much so that you are always two steps behind. Just as you begin to get an idea as to what the bag might hold, you are led astray with clever red-herrings and plot twists that not only adds a new dimension to the story, but also gives us a sense of the world that these characters inhabit. It's real. It's lived-in. And what's more, it's a world where bad things happen routinely for the flimsiest of reasons. Kurangu Bommai, taken in this sense, is not just a thrilling whydunit, but a poignant tale of friendship that makes it all the more visceral. Highly recommended!